Monday’s roundup: College baseball, Prep baseball, Pro hockey, Legion baseball, Golf
By Richard Walker
Eight Carolinas teams and six local products will be participating this weekend in the NCAA college baseball championships after the 64-team field was announced on Monday.
East Carolina, which won the American Athletic Conference regular season title, is the only top-seeded Carolinas team and the Pirates also have three local products who play key roles on the team.
The Pirates (41-15) are the No. 13 national seed and will host Charlotte (39-19), Maryland and Norfolk State; East Carolina meets Norfolk State at noon on Friday and Charlotte meets Maryland at 6 p.m. on Friday.
East Carolina is making its fifth appearance in six years and 31st overall appearance and Lane Hoover (Linolnton 2018 graduate) is hitting .265 with 10 RBIs in 35 games (34 starts), Matt Bridges (Crest 2015) is 4-0 with three saves and a 2.76 ERA in 25 appearances (one start) and C.J. Mayhue (Crest 2019) is 3-1 with eight saves and a 3.30 ERA for the Pirates.
With a No. 2 seed, Charlotte is seeded the highest in school history as the 49ers make their sixth all-time NCAA appearance and first since 2011.
South Carolina (33-21) is the other Carolinas regional host as the No. 2 seed Gamecocks are making their 33rd all-time appearance and will meet Virginia on Friday at noon. Old Dominion is a No. 11 national seed and the No. 1 seed in the Columbia regional.
South Carolina is one of a conference-high nine SEC teams in this year’s NCAA tournament field. That includes No. 1 overall seed Arkansas (46-10), No. 3 overall seed Tennessee (45-16) and No. 4 overall seed Vanderbilt (40-15).
The ACC has the second-most NCAA tournament teams with eight.
That includes ACC tournament champion Duke with associate head coach Josh Jordan (Hunter Huss 1998). The Blue Devils (32-20), coming off their first-ever ACC tournament title is a No. 2 seed and will play Liberty on Friday at noon. Duke is making its fourth NCAA appearance in eight years and ninth appearance all-time.
N.C. State is the No. 2 seed in the Ruston, La., regional and will play Alabama at 2 p.m. on Friday. It’s the Wolfpack’s 16th NCAA appearance in 18 years and 32nd appearance all time.
North Carolina is the No. 3 seed in the Lubbock, Tex., regional and will play UCLA at 7 p.m. on Friday. It’s the Tar Heels’ 19th appearance in 22 years and 33rd appearance all time.
Other ACC teams in the regionals are Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, Notre Dame and Virginia.
The last two Carolinas teams come from the Big South Conference.
Presbyterian (22-21) is coming off its first-ever league tournament title and will make its first NCAA appearance as a No. 4 seed against top-seeded Vanderbilt in the Nashville, Tenn., regional on Friday at 7 p.m.
And Campbell (35-16) is making its third straight NCAA appearance and fifth all-time as a No. 3 seed against Virginia Commonwealth at 8 p.m. Friday night in the Starkville, Miss., regional. The Camels also have two former local products; Lawson Harrill (Crest 2019) is hitting .269 with one home run and 18 RBIs in 39 games (22 starts) and Tyler McPeak (North Lincoln 2018) is hitting .158 with one RBI in 11 games (five starts).
High school baseball
Local high school baseball standings through Thursday’s games with conference record first followed by overall record:
BIG SOUTH 3A
Crest 9-0, 9-0
Kings Mountain 8-1, 9-1
Forestview 5-4, 6-4
North Gaston 5-4, 5-5
Cramer 3-6, 4-6
Ashbrook 1-7, 1-9
Huss 0-8, 1-8
R-S Central 8-0, 9-1
Chase 5-3, 7-3
South Point 5-3, 6-4
East Rutherford 4-4, 5-4
East Gaston 4-6, 4-6
Burns 3-7, 3-7
Shelby 1-7, 1-9
SOUTH FORK 2A
East Lincoln 9-1, 9-1
North Lincoln 8-2, 8-2
Bandys 6-4, 6-4
Lk Norman Charter 6-4, 6-4
Maiden 5-5, 5-5
Lincolnton 3-7, 3-7
West Lincoln 2-8, 2-8
Newton-Conover 1-9, 1-9
SOUTHERN PIEDMONT 1A
Cherryville 8-0, 10-0
Lincoln Charter 8-1, 9-1
Thomas Jefferson 5-3, 6-3
Christ the King 5-3, 5-4
Highland Tech 2-6, 3-6
Bessemer City 1-8, 1-9
Piedmont CC 0-8, 0-8
PAC 7 2A
Mtn Isl Charter 8-0, 8-0
Comm Sch Davidson 7-1, 8-1
Pine Lake Prep 8-2, 8-2
Union Academy 3-5, 3-5
Bradford Prep 3-6, 3-7
Langtree Charter 0-7, 0-7
Queen’s Grant 0-8, 1-8
This week’s schedule
Cramer at North Gaston
Huss at Crest
Kings Mountain at Ashbrook
Forestview at Bessemer City
East Gaston at East Rutherford
Shelby at South Point
McDowell at Burns
East Lincoln at West Lincoln
North Lincoln at Lincolnton
Thomas Jefferson at Cherryville
Highland Tech at Piedmont Community Charter
Lincoln Charter at Christ the King
Langtree Charter at Mountain Island Charter
Cramer at Berry Academy
West Lincoln at East Lincoln
Cherryville at Piedmont Community Charter
Ashbrook at Cramer
Crest at North Gaston
Huss at Forestview
East Rutherford at East Gaston
South Point at Shelby
Burns at Kings Mountain
Lincolnton at North Lincoln
Highland Tech at Bessemer City
Thomas Jefferson at Lincoln Charter
Mountain Island Charter at Langtree Charter
NCAA Division III: Two local products helped United States Merchant Marine to a historic 18-5, 12-3 season that included a Skyline Conference championship and a 2-2 finish in the Auburn regional.
Jack Millen (Crest 2020) hit .354 with 19 RBIs in 20 games (19 starts) and was selected All-Skyline Conference third baseman and the league’s rookie of the year.
And Billy Todd (Forestview 2018) went 2-0 with a 1.54 ERA in eight appearances.
The Carolina Hurricanes are in the midst of a Stanley Cup playoff pursuit after winning their fourth division title in 25 seasons in North Carolina. The Hurricanes won the 2006 Stanley Cup championship, advanced to the 2002 Stanley Cup finals and were in the Eastern Conference finals in 2019. Carolina is 36-12-8 this season and are the No. 1 seed in the Central Division.
Central Division semifinals vs. Nashville Predators
Game 1 – May 17, Carolina 5-2
Game 2 – May 19, Carolina 3-0
Game 3 – May 21, Nashville 5-4 in 2 OT
Game 4 – May 23, Nashville 4-3 in 2 OT
Game 5 – May 25, Carolina 3-2 in OT
Game 6 – May 27, Carolina 4-3 in OT (Carolina wins series 4-2)
Central Division finals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Game 1 – Sunday, Tampa Bay 2-1 (Tampa Bay leads series 1-0)
Game 2 – Tuesday, at Carolina, 7:30 p.m.
Game 3 – Thursday, at Tampa Bay, 8 p.m.
Game 4 – Saturday, at Tampa Bay, 4 p.m.
Game 5 (if necessary) – June 8, at Carolina
Game 6 (if necessary) – June 10, at Tampa Bay
Game 7 (if necessary) – June 12, at Carolina
The Gaston Braves Post 144-266 American Legion baseball team will hold sign-ups on June 5 at 4 p.m. at Gaston Christian School. For information, email [email protected].
The Rutherford County Sports Hall of Fame is holding registration for the T. Max Champion Memorial Golf Tournament presented by Hardin’s Drugs. The event will be held Aug. 6 at Cleghorn Golf and Sports Club in Rutherfordton and will consist of three-person teams and a registration of $75 per player. The proceeds will benefit the RCSHOF Scholarship Fund and a prize of $600 will be awarded to the winning team. For more information on the T. Max Champion Memorial Golf Tournament or to nominate an athlete for the Rutherford County Sports Hall of Fame, please visit the RCSHOF website at https://rcshof.org/ or the organization’s Facebook page.